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Jack Priestley’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Jack’s as (1)

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EDMUND PARKER is the only known child of Richard le Parker, descended from the de Alcancotes of Alkincoats Hall on the outskirts of Colne.

Edmund inherited Alkincoates Hall when his father died in 1346.

He had two sons, John and Richard.

In 1381, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, granted to Edmund de Alkincotes the employ of ‘le Parker’ of Radholme Laund within the deerpark of the Forest of Bowland.

When Edward II died in 1327 the park of Radholme and chase of Bowland had been granted to his widow Queen Isabella, and were administered by keepers appointed by her.

In 1348 she exchanged Radholme park and the chase of Bowland for an annuity and entered a nunnery. The park was thereafter administered by the Dukes of Lancaster until the accession of King Henry IV in 1399.

Radholme Park was one of two deer parks in the Forest of Bowland, an upland region that stretches between the Irish Sea and the River Ribble. It was the Radun listed  in the Domesday Book.

Its boundary ran east from the outlet of Withens Brook into the Hodder as far as Park Gate Farm, northwards past Higher Park Gate Farm, and over Burholme Moor to re-join the Hodder below Burholme, apparently with the River Hodder as its western boundary.

Boundary of Radholme Park [1]

A park was usually elliptical in shape, and was typically of 40 to 80 hectares in size. Deer parks were very much seen as a status symbol rather than as a revenue earner. They were costly to maintain although they did yield some income from fines and the sale of privileges and resources such as timber or stone. Deer outside the park were classed as wild and subject to forest law; within the park they were a possession of the owner and if killed the poacher was subject to common law.

The deer parks were often resented by local communities because they removed land from farming. However, at the time of deer park creation some of the land was only waste or woodland.

Residents were also resentful that hunting across their farmland could disrupt work and damage their crops.

Poaching was severely punished. Earlier that century, Radholme was named amongst parks pillaged by poachers. Edward II appointed many commissions to enquire into this, and to arrest those who were poaching deer and salmon in the chases, parks, and river. No doubt this was still a problem in Edmund’s time.

In 1340 the accounts of the constable of Clitheroe Castle mention that the park keeper was paid 1½d per day (45s 6d  per annum). It would not have been greatly different towards the end of the century.

Cattle were agisted (sent for summer grazing) in the park, with a revenue from this of  £7 0s 2d. Agistment rates were usually from 6d to 1s per beast, so between 140 and 280 head of cattle must have been pastured there.


Edmund was the first member of the Parker family to settle in the Browsholme area, after being offered the job as park-keeper for Radholme Laund..

In 1380 Richard and John Parker, Edmund’s sons, leased the land at Browsholme. Richard built a house there, a little distance from the present Browsholme Hall.

Edmund’s sons took over his duties after his death. In 1393 Richard and John Parker were deputy parkers of Radholme, and leased the vaccary (a large-scale cattle farm) of Nether Browsholme.


[1] FOBDeerParks_­ FinalReportApril2013




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